Joint Operation to Tackle Off Road Bikes & Rural Crime in Cleveland and North Yorkshire
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Last weekend officers from Cleveland and North Yorkshire Police, the Environment Agency and the North York Moors National Park Authority conducted an operation to tackle off road bikes and rural crime.
The operation took place on Sunday 19th July in areas bordering Cleveland and North Yorkshire, including Guisborough Woods, Hutton Village and East Cleveland.
As a result of the day of action, the rider of a motorbike was reported for licence offences, another rider of a motorbike was issued with a section 59 notice as the bike was reportedly associated with anti-social behaviour, motorists were stopped for speeding and warnings were given to people regarding fishing offences by the Environment Agency.
Cleveland Police Special Chief Inspector James Ruddock said: “I would like to thank all the officers and partner agencies for participating in this operation. The feedback we had from members of the public was extremely positive as off road bikes cause a lot of misery to people living in rural communities and this is an operation we plan to continue with.”
North Yorkshire Police Inspector, Matt Hagen, said: “While many people in North Yorkshire ride off-road bikes safely and responsibly, their misuse can be dangerous - and illegal. This joint operation was a great opportunity to work closely with our partners for a day of targeted action which we hope sends a clear message that misuse of off-road bikes and rural crime will not be tolerated.”
Debbie Trafford, Head of Recreation and Ranger Services at the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “We are thankful to all who took part in this operation, including officers from both Cleveland and North Yorkshire Police, as well as representatives from the Environment Agency. These joint days are hugely effective in tackling illegal off roading and raising awareness towards rural crime.”
John Crowl, Environment Agency, Area Enforcement Team Leader - North East Area, said: “We value the opportunity of playing our part in vital joint operations like the one in Cleveland and North Yorkshire that helps to shine a crucial light on to the serious issue of local rural crime activity. In particular, we were addressing the matter of combatting unlicensed fishing, which is harmful in many ways, including being illegal and also taking away a crucial income stream to the local community, who rely on fishing for their livelihood.
“The operation incorporated fisheries patrols in a number of locations including isolated still waters. We also carried out numerous coastal anti-salmon poaching patrols with dedicated police support. In total, we identified eleven fisheries offenders who will be prosecuted for their offences. Hopefully this will deliver a strong message to people looking to pursue illegal fishing and discourage them from participating in rural crime, and also to reassure residents and businesses making them feel safer in their local community.”
If you are aware of any illegal fishing or rural crime activity, you can report it by contacting the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.